The key news cycles involving 2019 franchise tags have centered around edge rushers, with DeMarcus Lawrence signing an extension and the Chiefs trading their own tagged edge rusher (Dee Ford) and acquiring the Seahawks’ (Frank Clark). Jadeveon Clowney, whom the Texans discussed with the Chiefs, may now go another year without a long-term deal. 49ers kicker Robbie Gould has also requested a trade.
Not as much as transpired on the Grady Jarrett front, but we are less than 24 hours from this year’s deadline for tagged players to sign extensions. As it stands now, talks between Jarrett and the Falcons have been “cool,” per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. But Ledbetter notes the sides have not given up hope, adding this situation could still heat up between now and Monday’s 3pm CT deadline.
Arthur Blank has said he wants Jarrett to be a “Falcon for life,” but the owner has used that phrase regarding contract-year standouts Julio Jones and Deion Jones. The Falcons still have some significant business to conduct and hold just $6.5MM in cap space. Jarrett’s franchise tag takes up $15.2MM of Atlanta’s cap.
The Falcons and Jarrett’s agent, Todd France, continue to discuss a deal, Ledbetter writes. But the team may be cautious about entering the territory of fellow France interior defender clients Aaron Donald ($22.5MM AAV) and Fletcher Cox ($17.1MM AAV). France will likely view those contracts as relevant for his Falcons client, CBS Sports’ Joel Corry writes. Jarrett (14 career sacks, no Pro Bowls) has not proven himself to be on those perennial Pro Bowlers’ level, perhaps leading to the gap in terms and Thomas Dimitroff conceding the sides may have to revisit negotiations after Jarrett plays this season on the tag. After Cox, Geno Atkins and Kawann Short — each making just more than $16MM a year — represent the next-highest-paid group of interior defenders.
It would certainly behoove the Falcons to finalize a deal with Jarrett, in order to reduce his 2019 cap number and thus help the team work out deals with the Joneses. Jarrett signed his franchise tender in April and reported to minicamp.
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